Another day, another twist in the John Travolta lawsuit.
“There will be a full trial,” attorney Okorie Okorocha, who filed suit against the actor on behalf of unnamed massage therapists last week, said to the AJC in a very brief email this afternoon.
He elaborated in comments to People magazine.
“I want a full trial with a private judge,” Okorocha told People. “There is no mediation. There’ll never be a settlement. I want privacy for sex crime victims.”
Travolta’s attorney, Marty Singer, characterized the matter as a publicity effort: “People are going to come forward to get their 15 minutes of fame,” Singer told People. “We’ll disprove it, but we need specifics first. It’s hard to disprove something when you don’t have more specific allegations.”
Earlier today, the Radar web site reported that Travolta and ”John Doe #2″ would work things out behind closed doors.
“Both sides will agree to keep all transcripts sealed, as well as all witness statements, depositions, etc.,” Radar reported this morning, citing sources close to the case. “The lawsuit will be heard by a private judge, who will decide how much money if any the accuser will receive. All of the proceedings will be strictly confidential.”
Radar’s source said buttoning down further proceedings “will allow the masseur’s identity from being made public,” since a public trial “would just be a media circus.” Moving forward in secret, the source said, is “the best way for the case to be heard with minimal disruption to John Travolta and the masseur’s life.”
The AJC has left email and telephone messages for Okorocha seeking more information. A week ago, the attorney filed suit against Travolta, on behalf of an unnamed massage therapist. “John Doe” claimed Travolta tried to initiate unwanted sexual contact during a Jan. 16 massage in Beverly Hills. The lawsuit demanded $2 million.
Things quickly fizzled for “John Doe,” though, when Team Travolta released photos and a restaurant receipt showing he was in New York on Jan. 16. Flight records posted on the TMZ web site backed up that timeline. Then “John Doe” released a long, meandering statement to Radar, asking that everyone reserve judgement and wishing Travolta and his associates well.
“John Doe” and his erstwhile attorney soon parted ways, but by that time a “John Doe #2″ had joined the litigation. That plaintiff made similar allegations, stating that the unwanted sexual conduct took place Jan. 28 at an “unnamed Atlanta resort” and also seeking $2 million. Travolta, who was here earlier this year filming “Killing Season,” was spotted in Atlanta Jan. 24, and many times thereafter at various restaurants, a coffee shop, the mall, and other locations.
From the beginning Travolta’s representatives have vowed a vigorous defense and a counter suit.
- Jennifer Brett/The Buzzfirstname.lastname@example.org